Amos, who was a shepherd, fig tree caretake,r and breeder of cows, was called by God to take his agricultural and farming abilities to God’s people and shepherd them towards repentance. God gave Amos a message to deliver that summarizes greatly the state of the land at that time –
“’Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord God, ‘That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).
Friends, the conditions described in those two verses are very indicative of the 2017 world we live in and unfortunately too many churches fall under this characterization as well.
The doctrine of Sola Scriptura – “Scripture alone” – is a Latin phrase people know and ascribe to, but are far from practicing. Our society is an “I did it my way” place where our rules too often trump God’s. Our society may often consider the Bible’s good morals but then opt out of following them when it is not convenient.
Sola Sciptura was one of the distinctions that separated Protestants from the Roman Catholics during the Reformation and it should be a phrase that separates us still today. It is not Scripture + tradition or Scripture + church teaching or Scripture + experience or Scripture + church councils or church fathers.
It is Scripture + nothing = everything.
John MacArthur has written,
“No man, no church, no religious authority has any warrant from God to augment the inspired Word of Scripture with additional traditions, or to alter the plain sense of it by subjecting it to the rigors of a ‘traditional’ meaning not found in the Word itself. To do so is clearly to invalidate the Word of God – and we know what our Lord thinks of that.” (Sola Scriptura, pg. 182)
What does Jesus think of that?
“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev 22:18-19).
The greatest evil in the world is to sit in judgment upon what God has said.